Curtains for the historic Takoma Theatre?

posted by JackCoursey on March 29, 2011 at 4:45 am

WASHINGTON, DC — The landmark Takoma Theatre might soon be demolished. According to an article in the March 21, 2011 edition of the
Washington Post, the current owner of the abandon theatre working to have the ornate building razed in order to construct an apartment complex.

The District has rejected all of McGinty’s applications to raze the building, along with his appeals.

Now, adding urgency to the script, McGinty is openly rejecting an order from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to repair the Takoma’s roof, gutters and downspouts and to repaint the exterior of a building that hasn’t been used regularly since 2006.

Theaters in this post

Comments (3)

Scott
Scott on March 29, 2011 at 5:26 am

McGinty owns the building and he can’t redevelop the property and has been ordered to repair the theatre. I love old movie theatres as much as anyone, but the long arm of government needs to be chopped off here. Personal property rights are a critical element to our freedom in America. Freedom that is being eroded away almost daily it seems. This is a government taking, pure and simple. For McGinty’s part, he should be compensated by D.C. for his loss if he’s not allowed to redevelop it, and also for the maintenance since he’s being forced to do that to a building he doesn’t want. Of course, that would put it on the taxpayer’s back, which is also bad. This is a good illustration of an intrusive government that, if not constrained, will exhibit behavior consistent to that of a thug.

RayKaufman
RayKaufman on March 30, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Scott, what you fail to recognize, with that old missive of “property rights” is that they are and should be trumped by Historic Preservation, whenever possible. McGinty owns the building, however, he is merely a place-holder as it’s been in existance long before his ownership; he did not create it. Should he have the right to swoop in and in a fire sale grab the property solely for the purpose of razing it? No, he should purchase a vacant lot and do what he will. Too many historic properties are destroyed in the name of the all-mighty dollar and the perception that money needs to be made at all costs. This is a perfect example of government working for the people as historic structures can never be replicated.

To be sure, there are likely larger issues at work here, but until all efforts are deemed undoable, then that building must be saved to live and function again. There are just too many workable options for a person to come in and demand to tear it down.

PopcornNRoses
PopcornNRoses on April 14, 2011 at 3:01 am

Call me an idiot (ok, you’re an idiot), but why must the building be razed for an apartment? Why don’t the apartment people come up with a design that incorporates the current theater on the bottom and build around it? Making an historic theater the centerpiece of such a modern structure would only enhance it’s value, particularly if it’s properly restored and returned to some sort of operation. This has been done time and time again here in Boston, and while it hasn’t always worked (see the big hole in our Downtown Crossing area), sometimes it has. I would think that if the theater is indeed historic, something to preserve it as part of the new structure is very much worth a try.

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